Logging grades.

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by KentBy, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Switchbacks and reverse running were the order of the day on most logging lines. Most logging operations didn't even have turntables. Maybe a wye somewhere if there was room enough. On steep grades, the loco's were usually operated with the front of the locomotive upgrade in order to keep water over the boiler crownsheet.
  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Two quick thoughts:

    1. Did you balance your engine? To much weight forward or aft will affect the tractive ability.

    2. I think they make traction tires to help model locos "make the grade" Have you considered those?

    Good luck with your layout. :cool:
  3. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    No, No....

    The Heisler is straight out of the box. I did 1/2 hour run in and then started testing.hamr

    I would be wondering if I would loose electrical contact if I used rubber on any of my tires.

    I could get out my file and convert it to a cogged line.:twisted:

  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    something wrong!

    I have two Riverossi 3 truck heislers and have experiance with a two truck @ my buddy Dr Tom's (the infamous Dr.G) C & S. We have been running these critters on exterme RRs for 20 years, and they are , out of the box, unmodified, the best pullers out there.

    granted mine are ancient, but Tom has a new release and it is a hoss too. Mine are capable of pushing a seven car train up an 8.5% grade( the locomotive is allways downhill to prevent runaways) the weight of the cars on the 18 in radius cause the cars to derailt before the drivers slip.

    The Bachman shay is weak- to light, no place to load with wood. the trucks are not equalized, and the whole animal doesn't have enough float, so it can't stand vertical curves. I had one and it was useless on my mountain. On my valley, it could work one Job, but I have a PFM 3 trucker that could do only that job, and it could pull twicew as much as the Bachman,; which can do curves it can do grades, it can't do both at the same time.

    I got one of our DCC guys (thanks Blair) to pop a decoder in mine . and took it to the club. on the 4.5% it can do 3-4 cars pathetic, I have a weastside class a climax that can do better. That shay looks gorgious, but it needs 21 inch radius flat track that is flawless.

    If you can work the kinks out of a MDC 2 truck Shay, put a walker model conversion boiler, which back dates the locomotive, and is much heavier, and remotor it with a gear reduction motor you can make a Hill Monster.

    My Brass geared power is all stuffed with lead ! can't do DCC on this layout until they make lead decoders.

    Make a jumper wire and run that hesler upside down. drag a thum lightly across the tires of each axle and see if you can stall the weel with the motor still running, my guess is you have a gear spinning on a shaft, but thier are other possibilies, but something is wrong in there, and it need to go to the shops!

    Bill Nelson - (East tn. Logging on the DG CC & W RR)- close assosiate of Dr. G ( Logging on the C & S in east Tn.)
  5. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    Push not pull...

    Why didn't I think of that.wall1

    I'll need to do some more testing, might make a difference.

    Thank for the info Bill.

  6. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Love those Rivarossi Heislers

    I would agree with my logging buddy Bill Nelson the Rivarossi Heislers are probably one of the strongest pulling model geared locomotives out there. I have two of the "new" release models, one three and one two truck. THese are very reliable, look pretty good and are the "go to" engines for operating sessions as they run great.
    Here is a picture of the three trucker pulling the high line bridge.
    Doc Tom

    Attached Files:

  7. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    Push or Pull not much differance.

    I did some more testing. Pushing is a little better then pulling, but only in the amount of spin of the wheels, not more cars.

    Here is my test picture. 2.8 percent grade, four cars, two truck heisler. It pulled with only a little spin of the wheels. With five cars, it almost could not make the grade. A lot of spinning.


    Attached Files:

  8. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Kent,
    That is a neat test track. I am glad I kept my mainline to 2% grade as the two truck Heisler here can easily pull a 6-8 car log train.
    Doc Tom:thumb:

    Attached Files:

  9. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    Hello Dr.

    Is that a Rivarossi? I see that you have added some chain to the front and back. Did you do anything else that increased the weight?

  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Those chains, although grosly oversize, don't add aperciable weight I've never had to add weight to a Riverossi heisler, as mine pull fine, and since they are bullet proof, I can't remember having one appart, unless it was for painting. I don't think there is much room for weight in there.

    Another consideration get a pair of reading glasses , a piece of glass, and a bright light. Put your Hiesler on the glass, and look very carefully a the bottom of the trucks, all four wheels should touch the glass. If they don't. then you could only have two wheels touching the rail at the same time, and rocking between the other two, and this would dramaticaly reduce pulling power..

    Bill Nelson
  11. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Kent,
    Yes, that is one of "the new Heislers" by Rivarossi just like yours. I had this prototype picture of a really decrepit Heisler that I just had to model. The result is in the posted pic. No extra weight added and the mechanism is straight out of the box.

    The logging chains and the extended coal tender really add very little extra weight. Like my colleague Bill Nelson I have never been in the innards of this model and have been impressed at its reliabiltiy and pulling power.

    The mainline including the cribbed bridge in the picture is at a 2% grade.

    I wish I had had that neat digital incline/level you pictured when I built the mainline it would have made the work so much easier.

    Sounds like you are going to have a nice RR.:thumb: Looking forward to some more pictures.:mrgreen:
    Doc Tom:wave:
  12. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    I checked Bill....

    With glasses on my face and glass under the loco, it looks to be setting flat. I also check that the suspension seems to be working correctly. I put the loco back on the 2.8 degree grade with six cars behind. I added 3 oz on top the loco and it pulled the six, but slipping. The loco does not stall, so I wouldn't think that it is new would have anything to do with slipping wheels.

    Thanks for your suggestion,

  13. Hot Cinder

    Hot Cinder New Member

    who greased the rails

    Just a suggestion. A friend of mine dragged a fine file across the rails in a diagonal direction and it increases tractive power. He also added stick on weights in obscure areas. The weights are made for the auto/tire industry and inexpensive.

    Logging rules!sign1
    interesting thread!

  14. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Sand those rails

    This is an interesting thread. Looks like adding weight to the engine is the way to go. Or perhaps stop in at RAILCAMP and get a load of that HO sand to put in the sand dome. Those Rivarossi Heislers are so nicely detailed that the sand pipes probably do work well.
    Doc Tom:cool::cool::cool::cool:

    Attached Files:

  15. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    A little more testing info...

    I reset my grade to 2.2 %, cleaned the track and it pulled 6 cars with only a little slipping. Keep in mind that the cars were 50 ft gondola and 50 ft flat cars and a 34 ft caboose.

    At 1.9 % grade, it pulled the cars without slipping. As my log cars will be 36 ft I think that I will be OK for pulling 6 as long as I keep the grade close to 2%.

  16. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Kent,
    Sounds like you solved the grade problem. This is interesting as I guestimated a 2% grade for my C&S mainline about 15 years ago and it has worked well for all the geared locomotives on my roster. The "official length" of the logging trains are 6 cars after a locomotive. This was determined to fit the passing sidings tucked in to the mountains. I also counted multiple protoype photos of loaded logging trains in the woods and they always seemed to be 6-8 cars long.

    Good luck with your logging RR construction.
    Doc Tom:wave:
  17. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Bachman Shay vs Rivarossi Heisler

    When the Bachman shay first came out, I bought two. Neither is in service on my RR @ this time, one got traded to Dr Tom, who has gentler grades ( mine go up to 8.5%), and the other went to out club. The bachman shay is a fine looking animal, but needs wide curves 20 in radius or so to perform well, and at the club, will only pull about four cars up a 4.5% grade. The Bachman shay is ver intolerant of vertical curves. there is a dip in the track going up to the logging camp at the club, and the Bachman say will stall there if it is not running light! I have two three truck Riverossi heislers, and they perform better the mountain than any other locomotives I own. I push cars up My mountain, in order to prevent runaways, and the weight of the cars will cause a derailment on the 18 inch radius curves before the Riverossi heislers will stall out. I have an impressive stable of brass geared locomotives, loaded with lead, and modified to the hilt , none of them is as capable on Iron mountai as a Riverossi 3 truck heisler bone stock!

    Results on Dr Tom 's C & S, are similar to those on my DG CC and W RR. look at the treads on our RRs we have been doing this for over 25 years. The Riverossi locomotives are oversized, slightly larger than the largest ever made, and huge compared to the average heisler. I use mine mainly in MoW service running my track cleaning train (nothing else can get it up the mountain). If you go to an operating session on Dr. Tom's layout, he hides all but the most capable locomotives, and the Riversossi Heisles are allways there to use!

    Bill Nelson
  18. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    We should probably remember that in the real world, those locos used a lot of sand on those grades!
  19. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Something which might make a huge difference...

    I had an AHM/Rivarossi hudson when I was a kid. It could only handle a 2 passenger car train, at best, up my 7% grades (an mountainous layout). The only locomotives which could pull all 6 of my Rivarossi cars up the grade was a pair of Mantua mallets and a pair of mantua F-units. Later, I picked up a newer Rivarossi berk (they added Sagamis, mashimas, or something in the 1990s) and it could outpull them.

    In high school, I picked up some replacement traction tires (Stewert brand) and suddenly the hudson could pull 4-5 cars or more up the grade. Traction tires will wear out, even without running, and need replaced.

    As a footnote appropriate to the topic, I grew up in Charles Heisler's town...Wapakoneta, OH...which is 10mi south of the Lima Locomotive Works.
  20. looseclu

    looseclu New Member

    I have a Spectrum 3trk Shay and it will pull 9 loaded log buggies up my 5% grade. Normal operations only call for empties going up the hill and loaded buggies come down the hill. It easily handles 18" radius but I doubt those u-joints would stay intact on a tighter radius. My downhill run is longer, full or curves and a tad under 4%; that Shay looks good as it crawls down that hill with a string of loaded buggies snakeing behind.... it would look even better if I had more than the current track and pink foam hills (I'm working on that).

Share This Page